6 things Australian traders will be talking about this morning

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Good morning.

To the scoreboard:

Dow: 26,115.65 +322.79 (+1.25%)
S&P 500: 2,802.38 +25.96 (+0.94%)
AUD/USD: 0.7992 +0.0031 (+0.39%)
ASX200 SPI futures (March 2018 contracts): 5,972 (+12)

1. AUD breaks through US80 cents: The Aussie got a boost from plenty of risk-on sentiment in overnight markets and reached a high earlier this morning of 0.8022 US cents. The UK pound was the other big mover — climbing above $US1.39 for the first time since May 2016 — as traders assess the increasing likelihood of a “soft” Brexit. Here’s the 5-minute price action in the Aussie.

2. It’s jobs day: Employment data from the ABS is scheduled for 11:30am AEDT. The recent torrid rate of jobs growth is expected to cool, with a rise of 9,000 jobs forecast in December. David Scutt’s 10-second guide has everything you need to know. Later today there’s Q4 GDP data out of China, along with investment, retail sales and industrial production figures.

3. US stocks roar ahead: Risk appetite drove US stocks sharply higher overnight, although UK and European markets were flat. Gains were led by the tech-focused NASDAQ, which climbed by more than 1% and the US had another strong data print, as monthly industrial production figures beat expectations.

4. Cryptos still on shaky ground: Following yesterday’s market meltdown, Bitcoin fell below $US10,000 overnight but prices appear to have stabilised for now at just under $US11,000. This useful summary outlines all the theories explaining the latest crypto crash.

5. Iron ore dips again: Benchmark 62% fines have now lost 5.8% over the past four trading sessions as mid-winter production cuts weigh on Chinese demand. Base metals also fell for the second straight session while oil held steady at just under $US70 a barrel.

6. As good as it gets?: That’s the question posed by ANZ’s chief economist Richard Yetsenga in an opinion piece for the AFR. Yetsenga noted the recent synchronised global economic upswing, but said the good news was now baked in to asset prices and significant challenges await policy makers if the run of global growth is to continue.

Have a great day.

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